Hello, I am planning a trip to Greece with my family for 10 days and I plan to rent a house. My question is where should we go so we can get a sense of everything including at least a day trip to an island. We could stay two to three days in Athens and then go.....where? When we travel, my husband won't sit down and wants to see everything. Thanks. Laurie
There are a lot of possibilities, but I'd recommend Nafplio or that area. The city itself can occupy you for a couple days, and there are several excellent ancient and Byzantine sites within a daytrip radius. Myceanea, Epidavros, Mystras, Corinth and a bit further out: Olympia and Monemvasia. The island of Hydra is an easy day trip from Athens. You will need a car, but driving outside Athens is not to difficult. An International Drivers Permit is required to drive or rent a car in Greece.
Here's another vote for the charming town of Napflion. In addition to the places already mentioned, you can visit the monastery of Osios Lukas. Beautiful church (11th c.?) with wonderful mosaics and just a very pretty, tranquil site.
While Hosius Loukas is an amazing Byzantine church and monastery, it is unfortunately nowhere near Nafplio or the Peloponnese. It is fairly close to Delphi, which is the opposite direction of Nafplio from Athens. While Delphi (and Hosius Loukas) can be easily done as a daytrip from Athens, it is not close enough to Nafplio for a daytrip. The excellent Daphni Monastery (Byzantine) is near Athens on the way to Nafplio. A few years ago it was under restoration and closed. I don't know it's current status. If open, I recommend it. If you go to Mystras, you'll see several Byzantine churches. Some are in poor shape, but one is still used and quite beautiful.
My bad, Douglas. I was mixing up our stop on the way to Delphi with the drive to Napflion.
Laurie I'm also a big fan of Nafplio. We've written up our last trip and you might find our comments interesting http://www.greekramblings.org.uk/Nafplio%20overview.html You don't say what time of year you are going but during the summer you can do a day trip from there to Hydra by hydrofoil which is probably easier than doing the same trip from Athens. In answer to Douglas's point I agree that Dafni is worth a visit on the way down, and can confirm it is now open again. Assuming you have a car I would also consider visiting Corinth. It's only a slight detour and the Roman site is really good. Acrocorinth, the higher older fortress, is excellent. You can walk up and, assuming good weather, see both ends of the Corinth Canal. Have a great trip. Alan